Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2003;37(1):5-9.

Psychological aspects of screening in families with hereditary prostate cancer.

Author information

  • 1Unit for Urology, Helsingborg Hospital, Helsingborg, Sweden.



Approximately 5-10% of prostate cancer cases are caused by dominantly inherited susceptibility to the disease. Although advances have been made in research concerning the genetic mechanisms of hereditary prostate cancer, little is known about the psychological consequences. The aim of this study was to assess possible negative psychological effects of screening for prostate cancer in a high-risk population.


This study was based on a previous study of risk perception, screening practice and interest in genetic testing among unaffected men in families with hereditary prostate cancer. The present study included 87 men from the previous study who were screened regularly for prostate cancer. Of these, 74 men agreed to receive two further questionnaires, both of which included the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) and the Impact of Event Scale (IES), one of which was filled in on the day of the next screening visit and the other 4-6 weeks later.


The response rate was 77% (57/74). There were no statistically significant differences in total or subscale HAD or IES scores between the two points of measurement. There was a trend towards slightly higher HAD scores on the day of the screening visit, but the difference was so small that we did not consider it clinically relevant. In an attempt to identify risk factors for a negative impact of screening several subgroup analyses were performed, but none of these subgroups had significantly higher scores on the day of the visit than afterwards.


Most men with a high hereditary risk of developing prostate cancer do not experience severe psychological adverse effects resulting from attendance for screening.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk